In the past 12 months or so we have all had our working practices changed and for many we are working more than ever from home. With the kids at home and there being less peace and quiet some of us are forced to seek refuge and work in the kitchen.
For many of us the kitchen can be made a home office as well as the cooking space and by making a few simple changes.
According to the office of national statistics the number of people working from home has increased to 47% up from just 5% the previous year. So what can you do to make your kitchen more WFH (Work From Home) friendly ?
Lighten your workload
Good lighting is key to efficiency and productivity. Here at Barnes we ensure that when we fit a new kitchen we focus on lighting to make sure the lights illuminate food preparation spaces and eating areas suitably. Kitchens tend to use spotlights to do this which are also very good for your working environment.
Switching to softer warmer light after you have finished your work will help you to separate the working day from your leisure time in the evenings and make relaxation and switching off easier.
Keep the kitchen clean and tidy
A tidy kitchen or any room often helps to promote a tidy mind and allow you to get on with your work easier. Try to reduce clutter that causes distractions. Once simple way to do this is to keep your kitchen surfaces clear and put things away in the drawers and cupboards.
If you have sufficient space then you may want to put your laptop and printer away in a kitchen cupboard once the working portion of the day is over. This will help you to separate your working life and relaxation time come the evening when you want to use the kitchen for food preparation, cooking and eating.
Find a dedicated space for virtual meetings
Tiled areas and cupboard doors can become whiteboards to post your sticky notes if that’s how you are used to working. Lightly coloured walls that are relatively clear can become backdrops if you hold meetings by Zoom or GoToMeeting and want to present yourself in a clear environment. If you use a tool like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you are able to set a custom background that hides everything behind you keeping things professional looking.
If you have lots of natural light in your kitchen then it is also good to face this to best portray yourself in the web cam. Position your camera at eye level or just above which will provide the moist flattering portrait. Also avoid being too close to the camera or you can end up with distortion due to the fish eye type lens.
Posture in the kitchen
If you find yourself suffering with back ache from long sessions sat down working in the kitchen then you may want to consider creating a standing desk and using it for at least part of the working day.
Unless you are very tall, kitchen work surfaces are about the right height for you to place your laptop and do some work while standing. Whereas this might not be a good full time practice it will provide some benefit rather than remaining sat and sometimes slouched in a chair sat at a desk.
With people spending so much more time in their homes many are considering replacing their kitchens and are considering a new classic or contemporary look for the busiest room in the home. Here at Barnes we are continuing to create beautiful hand crafted kitchens at our Devon workshops. While abiding by Government guidelines, we are able to continue with kitchen design and crafting hand made cabinetry. Where homes are vacant, we continue to install our bespoke kitchens and hope before too long we will all be able to get back to normal.
We recently published a similar article in The English Home magasine where showcased a tailor-made home office that we created and installed last year. This home office featured floor to ceiling book cases complete with ladder to reach those top shelves, a beautiful handmade desk and tongue and groove paneling all of which was built in our Devon workshop and finished on site after it was fitted.
If you are planning a new kitchen or any other interior design then don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be pleased to get involved with your new design and build project.